Press conference on strengthening science-based epidemic prevention and control, orderly resumption of work and production

A press conference was held Tuesday morning to explain issues on strengthening science-based prevention and control of the COVID-19 (also known as novel coronavirus pneumonia) and orderly resumption of work and production. February 12, 2020


The resumption of work and production has now begun in different regions and industries around the country. There's also been an increase in travel as many people make their return journeys home after the Spring Festival holiday. During this period, how shall we balance the need to resume work and production with epidemic prevention and control? Thank you.

Cong Liang:

Thank you for your question. We believe that the process of epidemic prevention and control has entered a critical stage. Therefore, we must now fight a two-front battle. On one hand, we must continue our fight against the epidemic, protect people's lives and health and prevent the further spread of the virus. On the other, we must focus on economic development, where the main challenge is to promote high-quality economic development and reduce the impact of the epidemic, especially to provide enough "weapons" and "ammunition" to fight the epidemic. These two frontlines are very important -- they support each other and we can't afford to lose either.

While work resumes, large-scale movement and gatherings of people do create potential risks of furthering the spread of the epidemic. However, if no resumption of work and production happens, in the short term, the medical supplies needed for epidemic prevention and control will be affected; while in the long term, various kinds of daily living supplies will also face shortages. Such prevention and control measures are unsustainable, and would eventually threaten the goal of actually overcoming the epidemic. In the end, the people's interests would be harmed.

So, on the premise of two-frontline battle scenario, we must prevail in two aspects. On one hand, we must win the battle of epidemic prevention and control. This is the foundation that everything else lies upon. Our measures include, asking people to return to work in batches and staggering their shifts, improving rapid screening capabilities in classification, strengthening the isolation of key population groups and the treatment of patients, and guiding enterprises to seriously implement various epidemic prevention requirements. These measures will help ensure that there will be no large-scale gathering and movement of people due to resumption of work and production, as well as no cross-infection among different population groups, and no larger epidemic outbreaks.

On the other hand, it is necessary to make sure the orderly resumption of work and production in enterprises. This is an inevitable requirement to guarantee that the needs of epidemic prevention are met. We are guiding local governments to implement policies according to their different epidemic situations and actual conditions. For areas which are hit hard by the severe epidemic, the top priority is always epidemic prevention and control. They should continue to adopt the strictest prevention and control measures. Only after the epidemic is effectively controlled, can they consider the resumption of work and production. For areas seeing large number of infections, but with most cases confined to certain cities, we think it is just necessary to strengthen epidemic control in these key cities, while organizing low-risk groups to return to work first. For regions with a relatively mild epidemic situation, we think it is necessary to set up rational prevention standards to consolidate the favorable situation, while striving to create conditions to fully resume work as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, different areas should resume work and production in an orderly manner according to their individual different epidemic situations. We do not require that all places should resume work and production at the same time, we ask them to do it according to their actual conditions. If conditions are favorable, they should resume work and production while strengthening their protective measures. The medical sector, as well as sectors that guarantee the basic daily life of people, should get their work and production resumed, but other sectors may have to wait. In accordance with the principles of being scientific, rational, appropriate and useful, we must formulate plans for resuming work and production by classification, ensure transportation organization, and promote the coordinated operation of the entire industry chain.

Because the entire economy is a complete industry chain -- if a certain sector is stuck, the operation of the entire economy will have problems. We need to improve public services to support production resumption; resolve the problems of labor shortages; and deal with the short supply of materials, funds and epidemic supplies. Ultimately, we must do this to allow enterprises to resume work and production without fear and distractions, and promote the smooth running of the economy and society.

Cong Liang:

At the beginning of the outbreak, we knew little about the epidemic and the relevant prevention and control measures, so the best thing we could do to help the situation was to stay at home, reduce our activities outdoors, raise awareness about the epidemic, learn to prevent and control it, and protect ourselves and our family members from the coronavirus. Going forward, while still ensuring we take adequate measures to protect ourselves, the best way we can contribute to the prevention and control of the epidemic is to return to work and continue doing our jobs.

In a word, our focus right now is to follow the deployment of the CPC Central Committee, adhere to a two-pronged approach and win the battles at the "two front lines."Following science-based epidemic prevention and control measures, we will provide sufficient medical supplies and daily necessities, and promote social stability and sound economic development. I believe that under the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, and with the joint efforts of medical workers and all the Chinese people, we will be able to minimize the impact of the epidemic and win the people's war against the outbreak. Thank you.

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